Wellington College


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  • Category: Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 640 (Boys) 400 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 13 - 18 years
  • Founded: 1853

General Information

Wellington College is one of the outstanding all-round co-educational schools in Britain for boarding and day pupils. The College’s ethos is education of the whole child, engendering confidence, skills, an international outlook and the right attitudes to work, service and society that will set them apart as adults and help them succeed in their careers. The College’s experienced, high-quality teaching and pastoral staff are there to help each pupil be happy and fulfilled and achieve the very best for themselves in their academic work, in the Arts and in sport.


Chapel, concert room, Music School, Shabby Road Recording Studio, Music Library, concert hall, wind and brass centre. First class drama and arts facilities, including a theatre. All pupils are encouraged to participate in sports wherever they have an interest. Canoeing, basketball, fencing, polo and golf add to the range and allow the College to offer a breadth of sporting interest beyond the traditional games of rugby, cricket, hockey, football, rackets and athletics. Wellington has its own modern 9-hole golf course. There is a modern sports centre, two Astroturf pitches and a rackets court. Many trips and excursions are undertaken, both at home and abroad.

Entrance Requirements

Scholarships, Common Entrance Examination or by special examination


Many scholarships available, please contact the Admissions Office for full details.

Open Days

2018. Sat. 6th October and Sat. 17th November.

2019. Sat. 19th January, Sat. 2nd March, Sat. 27th April and Sat. 8th June.

Please visit our website to register or contact the Admissions Office for details.


2018/2019. Boarding Fees: £13,250 per term. Day Fees (in boarding house): £11,120 per term. Day Fees: £9,680 per term.


ISI Inspection 2014

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr J P Thomas, BSc Hons, MBA, FRSA

Contact for enquiries: Mr E B R Venables, Director of Admissions

Wellington College
Duke's Ride
RG45 7PU

[t]: 01344 444 013
[w]: www.wellingtoncollege.org.uk

Location Description

An attractive 400 acre woodland estate in Crowthorne.

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School News

Wellington College Independent Berkshire Vaulting Ambition: A Gold Medal for Wellington College Pupil Jasper

Congratulations to Jasper Smith-Gordon on his gold medal-winning vault at the London Open Gymnastics Competition.

Jasper wowed the judges with his 1.5 vault to take the

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gold medal in the Under 18 competition at the Redbridge Sports Centre in London. Jasper’s vault of one somersault with two and a half twists is often competed by the world’s top gymnasts – it would not have been out of place at the Olympic Games or World Championships. Jasper commented: ‘This was my first time competing the vault and I landed it (almost) perfectly scoring a 14.75 out of 15.2′.

After a courageous performance on the Floor, during which he decided to change his routine, adding ‘an extra full twist on a tumble’, Jasper finished the competition in 8th place overall – an impressive performance, especially for someone competing two years above his age-group.

Wellington College Independent Berkshire The G.W. Annenberg Performing Arts Centre at Wellington College Opens with a Spectacular Gala Concert

On Friday 21st September, performers from seven local schools and community ensembles joined forces with members of the Wellington Community for a glittering Gala Concert,

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marking the official opening of the G.W. Annenberg Performing Arts Centre. In the presence of HRH The Duke of Kent, talented students delighted the 900-strong audience with a colourful programme of dance, drama and music.

It was an evening of sublime contrasts. From the magnificent ‘Zadok The Priest’, performed by the Wellington College Chapel Choir to the toe-tapping Hamilton Medley from St Crispin’s School, there was something to suit every musical taste. The delights kept coming: as the Berkshire Young Voices handed over to the Eagle House Chamber Choir and the Wellington Street Crew made way for the Edgbarrow Rock Band, the mood was one of celebration and wonder. The brilliant finale, ‘From Now On’, brought all the performers to the stage – a powerful reminder of the importance of the Arts in championing diversity, creativity and togetherness.

There has been a genuine buzz and excitement around the Annenberg project since its conception. Even before the first stones were laid, the building was attracting praise for the excellence of its design – it was named the winner of the ‘Best Building in Education’ category at the World Architecture Festival in November 2015 and for this we must pay tribute to the visionary work of the architects, Studio Seilern. We are very grateful to all the donors for their incredible generosity and, in particular, to Regina and Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, for their belief and commitment to the project.

Julian Thomas commented: ‘This wonderful building will not only benefit the pupils and parents of Wellington but will also bring together our local community and our many partnership schools. It is to be a beacon of excellence and a powerful symbol of the way in which the Arts can transform both lives and communities.

The Gala Concert was the culmination of an incredible team effort and I wish to thank everyone involved, from the architects and designers, to the craftsmen and contractors, to the students and staff involved in putting the inaugural show together. Well done to you all!’

‘All the World’s a Stage’, said the Drama Scholars of Wellington College on Friday night and, as the Choir of The Holt School reminded us, ‘What a Wonderful World’ it is.

Wellington College Independent Birkshire International Acclaim for Wellington College Pupil Andrea

Third Form Student Wins Two International Violin Competitions.

Over the summer, one of our new Third Form music scholars, Andrea Lam, performed in two violin international

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violin competitions – and won both.  Andrea performed the ‘Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso’ by Saint-Saens at the Amigdala International Music Competition in Sicily in June and, a month later, she was victorious again, this time at the Convivo International music competition in Guimares, Portugal, where she performed the ‘Carman Fantasy’ by Waxman.

Andrea has already delighted audiences at Wellington, performing to a packed Chapel at the start of term and taking the stage in the new G.W. Annenberg Performing Arts Centre during a recent Monday assembly. We look forward to many more performances in the years to come.

Wellington College Independent Berkshire Wellington College Pupil Hayley Releases Single for Charity

‘We get through it. We bear the scars. And we keep on keeping on.’

Hayley Canham (Lower Sixth) has released a single in support of children’s

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cancer charity, CLIC Sargent. Hayley, who performs under the stage-name cannibal, composed ‘Mars’ as a way of ‘giving something back’ to the people who supported her and her family when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia as a young child.

Hayley commented: ‘I can’t bake a cake and I certainly can’t run a marathon, but when CLIC Sargent asked if I could help, I wanted to do some fundraising and donate a song. My parents found some old home videos which they put together for the song – a little embarrassing for me but, if it is a positive story for families going through what my family and I went through, it will have done its job.’

An accomplished singer and actress, Hayley is a familiar figure on the Wellington stage but, as she addressed students and staff during Monday’s assembly, she revealed a different part of story – the story of how her life was ‘decided on the toss of a coin.’

Hayley’s message was both powerful and uplifting. She challenged listeners to ‘use that fear of the unknown, that unpredictability of tomorrow and prove that you can make your own purpose. We are all tiny people, on a tiny planet in a huge universe but we make a point of our own lives and we do what makes us happy, what inspires us because that is all the meaning that we need, right?

In other words, live for the moment. It sounds clichéd I know, but there’s a reason people keep banging on about it all the time. Lots of us have been through difficult times or are going through them right now and my story is the same as all of yours. We get through it. We bear the scars. And we keep on keeping on.’

Wellington College independent day and boarding school Berkshire


Congratulations to Freddie Bristowe: Under 18 Real Tennis Champion and World Junior Champion 2018.

During August, Real Tennis players from around the world gathered in the

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UK to take part in two major junior competitions, which ran back to back. The top 16 players in the world, under the age of 18, competed in the British Junior Open Singles at the Queen’s Club, before taking on the inaugural World Junior Real Tennis Championships two days later.

With the Under 18 title under his belt, Freddie went into the World Championships in a strong position and, after three competitive rounds, the number 3 seed reached the final. After a tough first set, which went to his opponent, Freddie fought hard and, in an ‘unbelievable display of talent, athleticism and tactics’, went on to win 2/6 6/1 6/0.

To be crowned Under 18 Real Tennis Champion and World Junior Champion 2018 in the same year, let alone in the same week, is an extraordinary achievement!

Well done, Freddie!

Wellington College independent day and boarding school Berkshire

If you set out to create an anthology of essential reading, a chance to impart a body of knowledge to the next generation, what would

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you include?

This was the question the Heads of Department at Wellington College asked themselves during a morning break meeting last year and, after many hours of debating, typesetting, editing and proof-reading, ‘Synthesis’ was born – our own anthology of essential reading.

This incredible collaborative effort led by Head of Maths, Aidan Sproat, marks another Wellington first, and the project has generated a great deal of excitement. Over the next few weeks, copies will be given to every member of the College community, marking the beginning of a year’s celebration of reading.

The 400-page anthology, places such canonical favourites as ‘Ozymandias’ next to Dominic Sandbrook’s account of the early days of The Beatles from Never Had it So Good. Topics on everything, from bees to breakfast, and words from Dickens, Darwin, and Duffy sit alongside snippets of music, texts in translation, and thought-provoking illustrations.

The Master, Julian Thomas, commented: ‘I am delighted to see this project come to fruition. ‘Synthesis’ is a treasure-trove of great writing, bringing together the best fiction and non-fiction, classics and contemporary works, as decided by our staff. I am incredibly grateful for the time and enthusiasm that has gone into creating something truly unique for our community.

Reading is an academic priority for the whole school this year and I am excited about the part ‘Synthesis’ will play in inspiring students to explore beyond the confines of the examination specifications. This is a cross-curricular anthology – our own super-syllabus without limits. One of my favourite features is the ‘Whence and Whither?’ section at the back, which makes each page a springboard to something else. I look forward to some interesting discussions with staff and students over the coming year.’

Wellington College independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Laura Davidson has been crowned Under 16 Girls British Chess Champion.

Laura’s latest victory follows an outstanding effort in the European Schools Chess Championship in Krakow,

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where Laura represented England and was placed 9th overall. Earlier this year, Laura won the annual English Youth Girls Under 15 Chess title for the best performance in junior chess events, for the second year in a row.

Later this month, Laura will be playing in the prestigious Delancey Chess Terafinal, having progressed through the Megafinal and the Gigafinal, picking up the Suprema and Ultima titles for her age group along the way.  She will now compete for Wellington in the Under 18 section of the Terafinal, along with students from such schools as Brighton College, Hampton, Haberdashers’ Aske’s, Eton, Harrow, and Winchester College. This is a huge achievement, with only 1% of the initial 45,000 participants reaching this stage.

There is a growing interest in Chess at Wellington, and we have no doubt that Laura’s recent success will inspire others.

Well done, Laura!

Wellington College Independent Berkshire Wellington College Students Swim the Channel

On Monday 25 June, a team of intrepid Wellington swimmers, comprising six students and Mr Murphy, swam the Channel in 11 hours, 23 minutes, breaking

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the College record by an incredible 55 minutes.  This is the 7th fastest Channel relay swim out of 200 relay crossings certified by the Channel Swimming Federation in the last three years – an incredible achievement, particularly as the majority of these were achieved by adult swimmers. This is also the first time the College has achieved back-to-back, fully certified crossings.

After three months of training in lakes and in the sea, with temperatures as cold as 10C, the 2018 relay team of Matty, Piper, Caitlin, Jess, Raph, Elodie and Mr Murphy began their relay swim from England to France just after 0820 on Monday morning.  Swimming without wetsuits in sea temperatures of 15C, each swimmer took turns to swim one hour and the team immediately made fast progress out from the white cliffs of Dover and into the busy shipping lanes.  Each hour presented new trials, from the notoriously jellyfish-strewn mid-Channel, to the challenge of maintaining a favourable course with the tides dragging the team away from France.

Although Dover to Calais is 22 miles as the crow flies, the team swam 35 miles and landed at 1944 on rocks below the cliffs at Cap Gris Nez, south of Calais.  The team’s courage, spirit and support to each other was exemplary. This was a special team that worked for each other through every stage of the process. Together, they raised £2324 for Level Water; their efforts will give seven children with disabilities the chance to learn how to swim.

Wellington College Independent Berkshire Wellington College - Two OW Brothers. Two England Caps

Tom and Sam Curran have made Wellington history by being the first two OW brothers to play Test Cricket for England.

Friday, 1st June is a

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day that will live long in the memory for Sam Curran, as he was awarded his first full England cap before making his Test debut against Pakistan at Headingly. Sam, who turned 20 during the match, gained his first Test wicket by dismissing Shaddap Khan, before going on to score a composed 20 runs himself. He took a further wicket in Pakistan’s second innings helping England towards a comprehensive innings victory.

Sam, who was only awarded his Surrey County Cap last month, is a left-handed bowler/batsman and quickly impressed upon his arrival as a Fourth Former at Wellington in 2012. Indeed, so promising was he that one astute member of staff placed a wager three years ago that Sam would play for England before the decade was out! Remarkably Sam’s elder brother Tom made his Test debut during last winter’s Ashes series, claiming Steve Smith as his first victim.

The Currans are the eleventh pair of brothers to have played Test cricket for England – but definitely the first OW brothers to have done so!

Wellington College Independent Berkshire Former Wellington College Pupil Ryan Lumsden (OW) Qualifies for the US Open

Ryan Lumsden has won through local and sectional qualifying to reach the US Open at Shinnecock Hills.

Ryan Lumsden (Bn, 2015) has won through local and

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sectional qualifying to reach the US Open at Shinnecock Hills from 14th – 17th June.  He shot six under par total to qualify alongside Major winners Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley, who had to endure the gruelling 36-hole qualifying event in Columbus, Ohio. He joins the world’s leading players for his first major championship.  After a potentially catastrophic double bogey on the 14th hole of his 2nd round, he birdied both the 16th and 18th to qualify, demonstrating the sort of skill, determination and resilience that have enabled him to achieve several top five finishes in NCAA Division1 golf, and to become Scotland’s number1 golfer.

Ryan was a member of the most successful golf team that Wellington has ever seen, alongside Edoardo Lipparelli (L, 2015) and Daniel List (M, 2016).  For two years, they won every major event in the UK except the HMC Foursomes, including a record-breaking win in the National Championships at Royal St George’s in 2015.  Ryan’s handicap reduced from 6 to +3 in his four years at Wellington, and he then won a place on the team at Northwestern University in Illinois, where he has enjoyed the combination of a great academic education and a world-leading golf programme, under Pat Goss and David Inglis.

This combination of sport and academics was what attracted Ryan to Wellington in the first place, and the competing demands are clearly not mutually exclusive, as Ryan has made the Dean’s List in each of his three years so far.  The balance continues even now: after a 6-hour drive back to Northwestern last night, he had end-of-year exams on each of the next three days before going to Shinnecock to prepare for the US Open.  We wish him the very best of luck.

Wellington College independent day and boarding school Berkshire

One of the country’s leading independent schools has announced plans to increase dramatically its bursary provision, widening access to those who would not otherwise be

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able to attend.

A new campaign launched by Wellington College last week, aims to raise funds to provide significant fee remission for 25% of students by 2028, and then to double this to 50% by 2038.

Julian Thomas, Master of Wellington College, is passionate about giving children with real promise, but limited financial means, the opportunity to come to Wellington. Mr Thomas says, ‘Our ambition is to ensure that a Wellington education is available to as many children as possible, regardless of their financial means. In the last year alone, we have raised £1.5 million for this campaign and, combined with the income from our international schools, this has given us the opportunity to make significant progress.  Nevertheless, this is just the beginning of what will be a decades-long commitment to the creation of means-tested bursaries’.

Wellington College was established in 1859 to educate the sons of soldiers killed in action at minimal cost. While the need for this has diminished over the years, the College remains committed to ensuring that children of talent and promise are able to reach their full potential.

Mr Thomas comments: ‘Widening opportunity and access is part of our DNA. In the future, we aspire to match the level of support provided at our foundation. We are going back to our roots’.

Wellington College is part of a successful Independent State School Partnership, involving 11 local secondary schools, and it sponsors two, soon to be three, state academies. Over the last few years, the College has found innovative ways to open its doors to a wide range of students from diverse backgrounds. The WOW Campaign is the latest addition to Wellington’s ambitious and ever-evolving commitment to inclusive education.

Wellington College has won the ‘Boarding school of the year’ award at the prestigious Tes Independent School Awards 2018.

League tables have become such a fundamental

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part of the education landscape that is a brave school that decides to withdraw from them. Wellington College in Berkshire is just such an institution.

In this category, the judges were looking for “innovation, imagination and efforts to develop children in ways that go beyond the league tables”.

After Sir Anthony Seldon departed as master in 2015, many were watching to see how Julian Thomas would follow his high-profile predecessor. The answer came, in part, the following year, when he took his school out of the world of league tables as “a sign of a genuine commitment to an all-round and inspirational education”.

What followed was an evaluation of the college’s lower-school curriculum, with the introduction of “lab time” to foster independent learning and thinking. Russian, computer science, astronomy and psychology were added as options. Sixth-form “service learning” was extended to link placements directly to academic studies.

Unique aspects of boarding life continue, including “Maniacs”, the early morning open-water swim regularly attended by 250 pupils.

The judges said: “This outstanding submission both reflected and far exceeded the criteria for the Tes boarding school of the year award. The school’s almost 900 boarders benefit from excellent pastoral care and an exceptional range of service-related, leadership and other activities, several unique to Wellington.

“These challenge individuals, develop their character and resilience, and prepare them thoroughly for life in the modern world. The school justifiably prides itself on its boarders’ induction programme and its positive engagement with boarders’ views.”

Winners attended a black-tie event at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, hosted by author, broadcaster, actor and entertainer Gyles Brandreth, where more than 400 attendees celebrated all that is outstanding in independent schools.

11 boys from all year groups travelled to Wengen Switzerland to compete in the annual British Schoolboys Ski Races. The races are in three formats:

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the team parallel slalom, the individual Giant Slalom and the Slalom.

After two days of intense training in excellent conditions the boys kicked off the competition with the Parallel Slalom. Under floodlights in the centre of town, this is a great event, drawing many spectators and thoroughly enjoyed by all competitors. Two Wellington teams were entered and the remainder of the boys joined other schools who they had been training with during the day. The U16 team of Charlie O’Connor, Oliver Turner, Seb Batchelor and Max Umpelby were tipped to do well and breezed through the first round; unfortunately due to uneven course setting they were drawn on the slow red side and narrowly lost out in round two. Onto the seniors, where the team of Cosmo Osmond, Paolo Rossi, James Thorne and Will Beardmore ‘tactically’ made their way into the plate competition where they progressed to the semi-final, where again we fell foul of the red side.

Day 2 of competition saw the boys move up the mountain to the start of the infamous Lauberhorn downhill run, where the fast-paced Giant Slalom competition was held. All the boys put in a great performance, battling against increasingly challenging course conditions. We had fantastic results from Charlie O’Connor who came second in the U16 and Cosmo Osmond who won the U18.

The final day of competition was the Slalom, again held on the Lauberhorn. With the weather starting to change, quick runs were important. The course was 60 gates long and described by the race referee as one of the most challenging he has seen at a Schoolboys event. As fatigue started to play a part, two clean runs would put competitors in a strong position and our newest racer Gus Sutherland gave a really good account of himself, safely negotiating the course with some style. The headlines again go to Charlie and Cosmo who both finished in an excellent 3rd place, defeating some of the very experienced racers from the Swiss school Aglion, and also to the A team who finished 2nd overall with times coming from Cosmo, Charlie and Seb.

A special mention needs to go to Max Moffat who, after quietly putting together two very solid days of racing, came second overall in his age group – a fantastic achievement.

Overall it was a brilliant competition. All the boys gave a great account of themselves, both on and off the slopes. They were a credit to Wellington and we are already excited for Wengen 2019.

The Wellington Girls Ski Team travelled to the gloriously sunny French resort of Flaine to compete in the British Schoolgirls races. The girls started with

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two fun, but tough, training days with the Impulse ski trainers and were ready to face the competition. The eve before the event, some of the more experienced racers were to be found in the boot room waxing their skis and getting psyched up for the next day. First up was the highly anticipated Giant Slalom. The girls had great spirit and thoroughly enjoyed the event. Ophelia Vesely was placed 14th overall 3rd in her age group, Miranda Vesely was placed 15th overall and 10th in her age group. That afternoon saw the Parallel Slalom with both Wellington A and B getting to the quarter finals in their respective competitions.

Day 2 was the slalom race; the course was a challenging one and was running very fast. All our racers made it to the bottom in both runs and Ophelia was placed 2nd in her age group and 12th overall. The combination of good race times and consistent results led to the Wellington As being crowned 3rd best team overall out of 54 teams. Well done Ophelia, Miranda and Lucy Bryer.

Special mention must go to Captain Margaux Gathy both for her excellent leadership and for her individual performance (she came 10th overall in her age rank of unregistered racers) and to Evie Tipple who came second in the Edge award for showing huge support and selflessness to her team mates.

The girls had a great few days on and off the pistes. Despite the fact that most of them had never raced before, they smiled continuously, and they should be very proud of their efforts. This is the first time we have taken home silverware – the future of girls skiing at Wellington is very strong.


Ophelia Vesely: Bronze GS, Silver Slalom and Silver overall in her age category

Wellington A: Bronze overall

Congratulations to the 20 Wellingtonians and Old Wellingtonians who have been offered places at Oxford or Cambridge.

This talented cohort will be following in the footsteps

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of numerous OWs currently studying towards Oxbridge degrees, taking the total number of Oxbridge successes to nearly 100 over the last four years. With so many Wellingtonians heading to the UK’s two most prestigious universities, and similar numbers taking up places at elite universities in the United States each year, these are inspiring times for our Sixth Form at Wellington.

Equally inspiring is the generous and positive contribution these Wellingtonians have made to the wider life of the school. Among the students listed below, you will find members of the College Choir, Symphony Orchestra and Acapella group; a member of the Spanish Debating team; a singer-songwriter who is preparing for the Nashville tour this summer; representatives from the College 1st XV Rugby team, U18 Basketball team and 1st Badminton pair; part of the U20 National Triathlon squad; and a contributor to Ed Club, a charity working to improve IT access for children in Africa – to name but a few.

Well done to them all!

Behr Josh Oxford Philosophy & Theology
Benkert Max Oxford Chemistry
Evershed Charlotte Cambridge Human, Social and Political Sciences
Farah Eve Oxford Archaeology & Anthropology
Frobisher Amber Cambridge Mathematics
Hannon Matthew Cambridge Human, Social and Political Sciences
Hatch Charlie Cambridge Human, Social and Political Sciences
Hilder Jarvis Alice Oxford Mathematics and Philosophy
Hind Zoe Oxford Classics
Jackson Georgie Cambridge Human, Social, and Political Sciences
May Natasha Cambridge Economics
McDaniel Charlotte Oxford French
Nason Charlotte Oxford Fine Art
Selman Mia Oxford French and Spanish
Smart Rustan Oxford History and Politics
Stoller Dan Oxford Biological Sciences
Tsang Ian Cambridge Natural Sciences
Whiteside Eleanor Oxford Classics
Windebank Flora Oxford French and Italian
Zhu Richard Oxford Physics and Philosophy

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